Bill Donahue: Marking Moments


Jesus also led his group into spiritual community by marking moments. His disciples had eaten bread and swallowed wine thousands of times before. But in the Upper Room, Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me.” Forever after, every time they celebrated that supper, each morsel of bread and sip of wine would take them back to that marked moment. They would remember his words, his embrace, his washing their feet, his promise of the Holy Spirit, his exhortation to stay connected to him like a branch to the vine.


Jesus was so good at marking moments because, unlike many group leaders, he never got so caught up in his agenda that he missed what his group was thinking and feeling. Remember when Jesus asked the disciples what people were saying about his identity? Who did they think he really was? Simon Peter responded by affirming, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus didn’t simply say, “Great answer, Simon!”Rather, he recognized the Holy Spirit’s work in Peter and marked the moment for the entire group. He answered Peter’s affirmation with this visionary proclamation: “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18 NRSV).


Jesus created, seized, and marked these moments because he wanted to do more than have meetings. He wanted to see people change, to see lives transformed by truth.